Charles Michel appointed President of the European Council
Charles Michel was born in the Belgian town of Namur in 1975. Studied law at the University of Brussels. After his studies, he became a lawyer in Brussels. For Charles Michel, law has always been about people and protecting their rights and freedoms.
Passionate about politics from a young age, Charles Michel decided to run in the elections soon after university. He was elected as a member of the federal parliament in 1999. A year later, he became the Walloon Minister for Interior Affairs and Civil Service, and in 2007, Federal Minister for Development Cooperation. He played an important role in his political party, MR (Reformist Movement), as spokesperson (2004-2011) and finally leader of the party (2011-2014).
During this time, between 2006 and 2014, he was also Mayor of Wavre – a small town close to Brussels, where he lives with his partner Amélie and their children.
“For me, politics has always been about people. Being a mayor taught me to keep my feet on the ground. And my priorities straight”, he says.
He is the father of two daughters and a son. “I am a very lucky man,” he admits, “I learn a lot from them. And no matter how busy I am, I always make time for them.”
Following the federal elections in June 2014, Charles Michel was involved in coalition negotiations. He became the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium in October 2014. His most challenging moment as Prime Minister came a year and a half year later, when on 22 March 2016, two deadly terror attacks struck Brussels Airport and the Maelbeek metro station. “On that day, I realised what it means to serve your country. Your only concern is to protect your people,” he says.
On 2 July 2019, EU leaders elected Charles Michel as President of the European Council. He took office on 1 December 2019.